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Scientists Investigate 'Luck'
Ananova ^ | 4-11-2004

Posted on 04/11/2004 2:38:17 PM PDT by blam

Scientists investigate 'luck'

Scientists have begun an investigation into whether people really can be "born lucky".

The study will match personality profiles with birth dates to see if there is a link.

Generally, studies have shown that "lucky" people tend to be optimistic and willing to take chances.

Psychologist Professor Richard Wiseman, who is leading the University of Hertfordshire team, said: "People are being asked to give us their birth date and complete a short personality questionnaire designed to find out if they are extrovert, optimistic and resilient in the face of setbacks.

"We will be looking to see if there's any relationship between these factors and the month of birth - in other words, if it's possible for some people to be 'born lucky'."

He said there were theories that linked physical factors connected with birth date to a person's future fortunes.

For instance, a baby born in harsher conditions might be more prone to infection. Also, a mother might eat different foods at different times of year which could also affect her baby's health.

But the most convincing association appeared to be a psychological one resulting from some children simply being older than others in their year at school.

Research has suggested these children are given an extra confidence boost that carries them forward to success.

"Most Premier League footballers were older pupils at school," said Professor Wiseman.

He added: "We are not investigating astrology here."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: investigate; luck; scientists

1 posted on 04/11/2004 2:38:17 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
This is the type of stuff scientists are studying today? And I bet that they are eating millions of our dollars on this. I want millions to study my hypothesis "People who are older weigh more" to study obesity. Look, 3 year olds weigh less than 33 year olds! No wait, I want them to stop spending millions on this crap.
2 posted on 04/11/2004 2:42:34 PM PDT by KillBill
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To: blam
O boy...Who's paying for this one.

I got in car accident. I wasn't killed. Was I lucky?

I got in a car accident, the passenger was killed. Was I lucky?

I won the lottery. I bought a speed boat, rammed a dock and was killed instantly. Was I lucky?

Sounds like LUCK lacks definition.

3 posted on 04/11/2004 2:45:23 PM PDT by Sacajaweau (God Bless Our Troops!!)
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To: blam
Generally, studies have shown that "lucky" people tend to be optimistic and willing to take chances.

Coupled with the rare ability to learn from the mistakes of others, that optimism and risk usually results in 'lucky' outcomes.

Of course, there's always the possibility of winning 'life's lottery', if you're one of Dick Gephardt's constituents .

4 posted on 04/11/2004 2:45:47 PM PDT by ovrtaxt (Kerry hates heavy metal. MOSH PITTTTT !!!!!!)
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To: blam
I really hope this isn't government funded...
5 posted on 04/11/2004 2:47:01 PM PDT by explodingspleen (When life gets complex, multiply by the complex conjugate.)
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To: KillBill
This is the type of stuff scientists are studying today? And I bet that they are eating millions of our dollars on this.

Sure. And the Big Bang was just the result of the universe getting lucky. These fine, selfless servants of knowledge just want to explain the meaning of life.

6 posted on 04/11/2004 2:48:31 PM PDT by ovrtaxt (Kerry hates heavy metal. MOSH PITTTTT !!!!!!)
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To: ovrtaxt
I saw a program on t.v. a few years ago which said that gamblers who are "lucky" are psychic. They have a sixth sense on which lottery numbers to pick, which horses to pick. etc.
7 posted on 04/11/2004 2:49:01 PM PDT by AngieGOP
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To: blam
Hehe-- I found this:

"Children need encouragement. If a kid gets an answer right, tell him it was a lucky guess. That way he develops a good, lucky feeling." ~ Jack Handy

8 posted on 04/11/2004 2:50:12 PM PDT by ovrtaxt (Kerry hates heavy metal. MOSH PITTTTT !!!!!!)
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To: blam; Alkhin
I think Dr. Hildagard Landstrom discovered the luck virus...

Schopenhauer was right, wouldn't you say? Life without pain has no meaning.

9 posted on 04/11/2004 2:53:27 PM PDT by null and void (Gentlemen I wish to give your lives meaning.)
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To: AngieGOP
I met a professional gambler a while back. He does sports betting, since he feels that he has some knowledge on the subject. Those who play poker, et al, are very good at counting cards.

Games of pure chance, roulette, craps, etc. are ALWAYS stacked in favor of the house.

Math has very little to do with luck or 'psychic' abilities, IMO.

10 posted on 04/11/2004 2:53:57 PM PDT by ovrtaxt (Kerry hates heavy metal. MOSH PITTTTT !!!!!!)
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To: blam
Anyone who's born naturally lucky and can prove it should come along with me to Vegas to play some craps.

Three '12s' in a row after the point would satisfy me enough to herald them as a natural.

11 posted on 04/11/2004 2:56:23 PM PDT by The KG9 Kid (Semper Fi)
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To: blam
I was born lucky but I'm having trouble getting lucky

You can find anything on the Internet if you look hard enough. But not many website wallahs who exult in the murder of American citizens are as well-connected as Mr Zuniga. He claims his site is ‘the most popular political weblog with over three million monthly visits’ and boasts of his access to Terry McAuliffe, chairman of the Democratic National Committee. The Daily Kos carries advertisements from Democratic congressional candidates around the country, including incumbents — North Dakota Congressman Earl Pomeroy — and challengers — South Dakota Democratic House candidate Stephanie Herseth, who raised $21,000 in one day on Zuniga’s site.

12 posted on 04/11/2004 2:57:05 PM PDT by South Dakota (Princess Stephanie vs Republican Larry Diedrich)
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To: ovrtaxt
You are right about know that. I have first hand experience with that, especially after trip to Atlantic City.
13 posted on 04/11/2004 2:58:50 PM PDT by AngieGOP
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To: explodingspleen
Relax, this appears to be a British study, in which case by "lucky" they mean "born with good teeth".
14 posted on 04/11/2004 3:08:21 PM PDT by fat city (Julius Rosenberg's soviet code name was "Liberal")
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To: AngieGOP
Ouch! It never ceases to amaze me how people will go to Vegas or Atlantic City with thousands, KNOWING that they will lose it!

I'm not mentally fast enough at math to be a successful gambler. We went on a cruise last year, and they had a casino. My wife was intrigued, so we spent $10 in quarters. That was it.

It was gone in 3 minutes.

That's all the mathematical proof she needed.

15 posted on 04/11/2004 3:15:07 PM PDT by ovrtaxt (Kerry hates heavy metal. MOSH PITTTTT !!!!!!)
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To: fat city
Yeah, what's up with the euro-snaggletooth thing? I think it's inbreeding.
16 posted on 04/11/2004 3:16:18 PM PDT by ovrtaxt (Kerry hates heavy metal. MOSH PITTTTT !!!!!!)
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To: KillBill
Niven beat them by decades: We are all part of a massive experiment by multiheaded aliens seeking to breed lucky humans. In the end, the experiment will horribly backfire on them... ;-)
17 posted on 04/11/2004 3:38:12 PM PDT by NMR Guy
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To: All
I'm waiting to find out which gene is responsible for this. Hell, they'll get money for centuries for that study.
18 posted on 04/11/2004 3:52:45 PM PDT by Sacajaweau (God Bless Our Troops!!)
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To: ovrtaxt
My 8 year old granddaughter beats the pants of her parents and grandparents playing poker. Her other grandmother gave her a talk on luck. She said, "Yeh, Grandma, I know" but aren't other people lucky?"
19 posted on 04/11/2004 4:00:29 PM PDT by Sacajaweau (God Bless Our Troops!!)
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To: ovrtaxt
Math has very little to do with luck or 'psychic' abilities, IMO.

I had a stat prof who said out loud he was actively studying gambling. What a maroon. I guess when easy money is involved, education and reason can fly out da window.

20 posted on 04/11/2004 4:12:47 PM PDT by searchandrecovery (If you can read this tagline you're sitting too close to the screen.)
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To: Sacajaweau
You should teach her how to count cards, and play memory games. Sounds like she has an aptitude for quick math calculations.
21 posted on 04/11/2004 4:42:11 PM PDT by ovrtaxt (I think the mistake a lot of us make is thinking the state-appointed shrink is our friend.Jack Handy)
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To: searchandrecovery
The mathematics of gambling is actually pretty neat. If the roulette wheel is stacked to win just 1% of the time in favor of the house, the percentage of takings can be calculated pretty closely just using statistics. It's a sure bet for the casino owner. Cards are another story, though, as some skill is involved. Probably a lot more complicated to figure with math.

If your prof is worth his pay, he will determine that staying away from casinos is very profitable.

22 posted on 04/11/2004 4:47:01 PM PDT by ovrtaxt (I think the mistake a lot of us make is thinking the state-appointed shrink is our friend.Jack Handy)
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